Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Hospital Stay & Going Home.

I can't believe our little Charlie Dean turned one week old yesterday! It's honestly breaking my heart! I'm trying to be brave because I know he's just going to keep getting bigger, but oh man, I really wish time would SLOW down even just a little bit. This past week has been pure heaven!!! Landon and I just can't believe how lucky we are to be Charlie's parents. We cry so much because we are just SO happy. We both talk about how much our love for each other has grown too, not to mention how much love we have for Charlie. Just so much love! It's the absolute best.

After Charlie's first day in the hospital he continued to have antibiotic treatments through his IV every morning and every night for about 2 hours. It was so hard to be away from him! I mentioned in my last post that Landon decided to work the week we were in the hospital and take the next week off, since he would be able to spend more time with him at home. So every morning before work Landon came to see Charlie and then he came on his lunch and then right after work. That was definitely the highlight of my day every day when we were all together. Every time Landon would come, he missed Charlie so much that he couldn't hold back tears when he finally got to hold him and be with him again. It melts me watching Landon be a daddy! He's the sweetest and loves Charlie SO much.

Suzette brought in Landon's baby book and it was soooo fun to look through it and see the resemblance between Charlie and his daddy. He totally has Landon's beautiful skin tone (everyone thought he was jaundice, but nope, he just has beautiful olive skin!) and just looks SO much like his daddy. When I first found out we were having a boy one of the first things out of my mouth was, "a mini LANDON!" :) 

We continued to have a lot of visitors at the hospital, which was SO fun. I loved seeing everyone loving on my little boy!

Even the nurses were in love with Charlie. One of my nurses told me, "I see a lot of babies, and I'm not just saying this.... but Charlie is a CUTE baby! We all love him! He's so sweet!" One of our nurses asked what his name was and she was unwrapping him to take his vitals. I told her his name is Charlie and she said, "Charlie!" and then unwrapped him to see his face and said, "Charlie CHEEKS!" It was so funny and now one of his little nicknames. His cheeks really are to DIE for. :)

by the way, he's so smart! Look at him holding his binky in!

Charlie's numbers at the hospital were conflicting, so we weren't exactly sure when we would be able to go home. His white blood cell count was high but went down, but his inflammatory count stayed high, so they continued his antibiotic treatments. Every morning his pediatrician at the hospital, Dr. Schlichter, came in to give me a little run down of his progress and told me that he hoped we could both go home Friday, depending on how his numbers looked. I was SO happy because we were originally told we would probably be there for a week.

I was actually surprised how natural everything came to me. I have always been pretty nervous around newborns, but I wasn't nervous around Charlie. He hardly cries, but sometimes he would get REALLY frustrated when I fed him before my milk came in. His whole body would turn red and he would cry and it almost sounded like he was saying, "uh uh! uh uh! uh uh!" So when he started screaming, I would just stop and do skin to skin and he would calm instantly. It's my favorite thing and seriously so sweet.

On our second night in the hospital, we got to have dinner together as a family. Alta View does this cute thing where they provide dinner for the new moms and dads with a little table cloth. It was like our first "date night" with Charlie. He was wide awake and just starting at us the whole time. It was so cute. They even had sparkling apple juice so we did a cheers to Charlie. :)

Finally Friday morning came and we were given the good news that he passed all of his tests and that we could go HOME! Best news ever. Landon came in the morning again, and then headed into work for a bit while his mom, my mom, and I finished packing up my room and getting ready to leave. Oh, I also had to get my staples out... gross! Landon came back once we were ready around noon and we were SO happy to go home! I thought I would feel more nervous, but I was just so ready.

He was so happy, just so sick of taking pictures ha!
We were nervous on the ride home and I stayed in the back with Charlie. He was a champ (another nickname I have for him) and did a great job! Charlie's Nana and Nini (our moms) came back to our house to be there for Charlie's big welcome home. When we got home, the boys were too excited to see me to notice the baby at first... but once they noticed him it was SO cute. They were very curious and just wanted to sniff him.

We took Charlie upstairs to show him his room and put him in his crib and the boys went NUTS. It was SO funny. They love him!

We spent the rest of the day resting, cuddling, and loving on our Charlie. For dinner, my parents wanted to bring us Olive Garden but my mom was feeling so sick. I felt terrible! But they still got dinner for us and Mary and Joey brought it over--thanks mom and dad! Jolene was SO excited to meet her cousin Charlie and baby Kate suddenly seemed like a giant compared to Charlie.

Later that night, we decided to go on a short walk. I felt so bad because we had used the stroller a few times to take the boys on a walk so I knew they would be disappointed that they didn't get to come... well, they found a little gap underneath the carseat and Henry hopped right up! It was sooo funny! So Henry and Oliver came on our first walk too! :)

Charlie's first night at home went so well! I actually had to set an alarm to wake him up to eat! He's seriously the sweetest baby! I also don't know what I would do without the Owlet! We slept so soundly knowing that he was safe and that if anything went wrong we would be alarmed. I don't know how we could've slept without it.

It's so amazing to have Charlie HOME and I can't wait to share more pictures and stories from our blissful first week. :)

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Welcome to the World Charlie Dean!

I can't even start typing without crying... we are so incredibly happy and so in love with our sweet Charlie! He is the cutest baby and has the sweetest temperament! It's so surreal that he is OURS and we are just so grateful to have him in our family! His entrance into this world didn't go as planned, but we are all doing really well now and we're just so happy he's here safely. Get ready for a LONG story and picture overload :)

It all started on Monday morning April 18th. I had an appointment with my OB, Dr. Layne Smith, who aggressively stripped my membranes. I didn't have much hope it would actually work because stripping them the previous week had done nothing. I also discussed with Dr. Smith when he could induce me and he said not until 41 weeks because of hospital rules for first time moms, unless there's a medical reason. My BP was high that day (150/90) and Dr. Smith told me to keep checking it all day and that if it stayed high to go in and that was medical reason to have the baby. I could tell he wanted this baby out as much as I did :) We love Dr. Smith!

So I went home and had to take a half day off work because I was just so distracted! Landon ended up staying home too because he was getting over a little cold. My contractions started around 11:30 am, but I had have plenty of "false alarms" before so I wasn't taking them seriously. Even though a lot of them were close together (3-4 minutes apart) they would decrease in intensity and then slow down and then increase and pick up... so it was just very inconsistent. I went on multiple walks that day hoping to get things really going. I was getting so frustrated because even by 8 pm I was STILL having contractions and they were pretty darn painful. We were watching a movie on the couch and I discovered that leaning forward when I had a contraction made them stronger and I was ready for them to be strong! I also had been telling everyone that I NEEDED my water to break in order for me to go in. Contractions weren't enough of a reason because of the false alarms I'd have before...

Well at 8:15 I got my wish and suddenly GUSH! My water broke! I stood up so quickly and just kept repeating, "oh my gosh! oh my gosh!" I knew it meant we were finally having our baby! We both called our moms and let them know and I of course called my Dr. Emma as well. Luckily I had already packed our hospital bag so we just had to grab a few things and then we were on our way! We couldn't believe it! I was so happy, but the contractions became BEASTLY after my water broke so I had basically turned into a monster on the way to the hospital. Mary and Joey met us at Alta View so we could give them our dogs--SO nice of them! And I feel like I didn't even say thank you because I was so out of it! With a towel between my legs, and very soaked pants (even though I had changed into new pants right before leaving...) Mary walked me up to my room in L&D (room 205) while Landon parked the car. I was soooo out of it and SO in pain! I have no idea how people give birth naturally! NO idea.

Once Landon got back up, Mary left and the nurse (Sydney) came in telling me to change. Ha! That was such a joke. I seriously couldn't even take off my pants or shoes or anything because my contractions were just putting me over the edge. Landon luckily helped, but he was so grossed out by my sopping wet clothes.. ha! Then the nurse came back in and started asking me what felt like a million questions. I told her I REALLY wanted an epidural and she told me she'd have to check my progress first and then they'd have to give me and IV and then I could get the drugs. I was so scared that because my water broke and that I had been contracting all day that I was going to be too far along to get one. Luckily when she checked me I was only a 4 which meant EPIDURAL! I was so relieved, but my contractions were 2 minutes apart and I wanted that stuff now.

Suzette came to the hospital and helped hold my hand through the contractions and she tickled my arm which helped SO much. Landon tried to use humor to lighten the mood, which resulted in me screaming at him a bit haha. He learned that the best thing he could do was not talk to the beast and just stroke my face. :) Good boy! I felt soooo bad for how I treated him, but honestly I felt SO out of control.

I finally got my IV and then my epidural a little bit after that. It was around 10:30 and by this point I thought I was going to die! I've always been a little nervous at the thought of an epidural, but at that point I didn't care at all! Dr. Waterfall was my anesthesiologist and basically my favorite person in the WORLD. The worst part of the epidural was having to stay still curled in a ball through my contractions. But it was over pretty quick and then about 15 minutes later I started to feel NOTHING. It was heaven and I finally felt like myself again. My legs felt tingly but I could still move them so it was just perfect.

We also got results from my blood work back and found out my white blood cell count was at 20, which is very high and meant I had some kind of infection. I didn't have a fever but they just had to monitor me very closely. In a few hours I went from a 4-7, but then my fever spiked along with Baby Boy's heart rate. I obsessively watched the monitor and was so stressed seeing the number 190+ and then dropping all the way down to 113. They put me on oxygen and started me on antibiotics which seemed to help with his heart. However, his heart rate was looking too "flat" and they like to see more variation. I could just tell Baby Boy wasn't feeling good and it broke my heart!

I also knew that even though he was head down, baby was facing sideways which is not ideal for giving birth. I stopped progressing at this point because his head wasn't engaged so the nurses had me use this thing called a "peanut ball" to put in-between my legs and lay on one side to try and get him to turn. It worked a bit because I was finally dilated to an 8.

But my fever wouldn't go away and baby was still in distress. Around 5:15 my nurse came in and told me that the dr was on his way and that he needed to evaluate the situation. At 5:30 Dr. Smith came in my room and put his hand on my arm to tell me the news... Baby is too distressed and he was in a toxic environment so we needed to get him out ASAP. I had an infection in my uterus which can happen during labor. We couldn't wait until I was a 10 and that pushing would be way too stressful on my already very distressed baby. I teared up a little bit because I was scared and of course disappointed, but there was no question in my mind that we needed to move forward with getting him out safely and immediately. I was actually remarkably calm, and I owe it all to Dr. Smith who just told me how it is and made me feel safe.

After that, everything just started moving so fast. Landon got all dressed up in his cute jumpsuit and hair cover and they wheeled me over to the operating room. There were a LOT of people in there, but everyone was so nice and just made me feel so calm. Dr. Waterfall gave me more epidural and before I knew it, they were cutting me open! It was the weirdest feeling because I could feel the tugging and pressure, but no pain. Kind of freaked me out! Landon asked me if he could watch and I told him of course, even though you couldn't even pay me a million dollars to watch someone get cut open! He told me later that it was just very unnerving to watch someone you love get sliced open and it made him feel a little better just to watch and see how competent the doctors and nurses were. The surgery itself didn't last very long (maybe 15 minutes) and before I knew it Dr. Smith told me he was grabbing the baby.... and then suddenly I heard the sweetest, saddest cry in the world and my baby was born! 6:14 am! 7 pounds 3 ounces and 20 inches of PERFECTION. They quickly showed him to me and then whisked him away to get the fluid from his lungs, weigh him, etc. This was the hardest part... knowing my sweet baby was finally here but not even really knowing what he looked like or even getting the chance to hold him. Landon was such a good boy and would go take pictures for me so I could see what he looked like and I was instantly in love with that sweet face! Once they finished up they let Landon hold him and bring him to me. I gave him a big kiss and told him how much I love him. It was the sweetest thing watching my Landon hold our baby and seeing how proud and happy he was!

His little eyebrows were SO furrowed because he was not happy about the bright light. I can't handle him!

Meanwhile, I was still being stitched up and threw up twice... Not fun! Especially because I totally puked in my hair. The next part was my favorite though. They wheeled us into recovery where I finally got to hold him and do skin to skin! I can't even describe the happiness and joy that just overwhelmed my heart instantly. I was SO in love with this baby! Landon kept telling me that baby boy LOVED skin to skin and that he just looked soooo happy. It was the most amazing thing. During that time we discussed baby names and tried to narrow it down. It didn't take us very long to decide that his name is Charlie Dean. It just suites him perfectly.

He also started sucking his thumb which was honestly the cutest thing I've ever seen in my LIFE!

He totally wanted to feed but I had been told back in the OR that he couldn't feed yet because his breathing was too fast.. but the nurse checked him again and told me I could try feeding him. Oh my gosh! Instantly Charlie latched on and was eating like a champ! I will never ever forget that moment. It's the SWEETEST thing ever and I was just in heaven. It didn't matter anymore that I didn't get to see him right away or that I didn't get to push him out... He was here and safe and PERFECT. I am so grateful we had this time because I knew that because of my infection, that they were going to need to start Charlie on antibiotics too and that meant they would be taking him away from me for a few hours :(
After about an hour in recovery, they wheeled me to my main room (214) while Landon pushed Charlie's bed. I was so happy he didn't have to go to the nursery yet! Suzette and Jason were waiting in the room and of course Suzette was just bawling! Her first grand baby and she was SO excited. They both got to hold him for a bit but then he was whisked away to the nursery. I missed him SO much and was just so worried about him, knowing he was going to have to get an IV :( 

Landon, Suzette, and Jason were able to go to the nursery and see him. The nurse told them that he didn't even cry when he got his IV.... I told you, he's a SWEET boy! I can't handle these pictures with his IV. It really breaks my heart.

After that Suzette and Jason left and Landon and I just hung out in our room missing our baby. The nurses had to come check me pretty frequently to give me more antibiotics, push on my belly to make sure my uterus was shrinking (OUCH) and we kept asking for updates on Charlie but no one ever had anything to tell us. Finally Landon walked back to the nursery and they told us we could take him back. YAY! The next few hours were just me, Charlie, and Landon and we were just in heaven. I can't even tell you how sweet Landon is with his baby. It's the most amazing thing how much he loves him and my heart can't even take it! I can't even put into words the love Landon has for him, but it's the most special thing I've ever seen. He can't even say his name or hold him without crying. 

We think that Charlie has nightmares when he's sleeping and that's the most we've heard him cry. It's so sad because he'll just be sleeping so peacefully and then out of nowhere he has the saddest face and just cries the saddest cry you've ever heard!

The rest of the day went by kind of in a blur. An amazing blur :) I fed Charlie every few hours who really eats like a champ... unless he's sleepy. :) Our next visitors with Joey, Emma, and Mary. Mary brought me flowers and candy and natural cheetos because she's the sweetest ever! And of course all three of them LOVED Charlie. I really don't know how you couldn't. They also got to be there for his very first bath. Most babies hate baths and cry/scream the whole time. Not our Charlie! He whimpered a few times but he mostly just laid there and took it. He's so calm and sweet I can't even handle it! 

After they left, Suzette and Jason came back and told us he was even cuter than he was that morning! I felt the same way. He seriously was cuter every time I saw him! Then we had Sally and her older kids, Savannah, Sydney, and Summer, come visit. It was fun telling the details of Charlie's birth to teenage girls haha and of course Sally LOVES that baby so much. 

I felt so bad though because my parents were in St George when I called to tell them my water broke, so they were our last visitors of the day. At this point we had a very crowded room and everyone passed Charlie around to love on him. He is a very loved little boy!

After all the visitors left, Landon went home too. It was so hard for him to say bye to Charlie, but both of us had only slept an hour the night before and he had work the next day so he really needed to go home and get some sleep. I got REALLY nervous about being alone with Charlie, but luckily I have the most amazing nurses who took such good care of me! I started crying telling one nurse that I think I needed Charlie to go into the nursery so I could actually get some sleep and on top of that, I was so paranoid that if something happened I wouldn't be able to help him since I was still immobile from the epidural. She told me it really was for the best for me not to be alone with him all night and that it didn't make me a bad mom at all. So I sent him away and then slept as much as I could between getting my blood drawn, getting antibiotic IVs replaced every 30-60 minutes, getting my vitals checked, feeding Charlie... It was a LONG night, but I definitely got to sleep more than an hour which was nice. Charlie's 1 o'clock feeding was my favorite. He ate for over 45 minutes and was just SO alert. I hadn't seen him that awake since our first one on one time with him right after he was born. So for over 2 hours in the middle of the night I just couldn't bear sending him back to the nursery! If he was awake, I needed to be there for him and talk to him. It was amazing! Around 3:30, he finally fell asleep so they took him back to the nursery and I got some more rest. But it really did break my heart and I missed him so much. I just need to be with him always! 

Anyway, that's the story of Charlie's first day and arrival into this world. I can already tell he's a very special boy with the sweetest temperament. He has my ears, my nose, and my chubby cheeks. He has Landon's dark hair and Landon's little butt chin. Oh my gosh, his CHIN. So cute! We love you SO much Charlie Dean! You have changed our world for the BETTER. You have the sweetest little sad whimpers, you hardly cry, you love to be swaddled, you have the best facial expressions and love to furrow your eyebrows, your hair is so soft, and everyone is IN LOVE with you! I never knew I could feel so much love and so instantly. You are our biggest blessing Charlie and we are SO happy you are OURS!
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